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Archlyte

Old School Star Wars

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Speaking of, my one quibble with the finals scenes was Tantive IV peeling out of the cruiser like a getaway car. In the same screen time, a smaller ship could've jumped out in the direction of a nebula subtly established earlier; cut to it dropping to sublight in a place clearly on the other side, and then docking with a waiting CR90. No convoluted concept (corvette hiding in a cruiser, wha?) or friction with Leia's denials in ANH.

But anyway. Regarding the Scarif transmission, I figure range is the limiter. OT generally portrays scanners as radar and comms as radio; you need to be the Emperor to make a long-distance call, and even then it's low bandwidth. Since I only dabble in EU, my guess is it crept up to Internet equivalents, which do weaken the setting.

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The book in question was published in 1996, before the Special Edition of the original film was released and long before using the internet to send a blocky 3D model was a sane idea. That's why I used it as an example.

Edited by NanashiAnon

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11 hours ago, wilsch said:

OT generally portrays scanners as radar and comms as radio; you need to be the Emperor to make a long-distance call, and even then it's low bandwidth.

Vader watches some Imperial officers getting killed during a holo call while searching for the Falcon in Empire Strikes Back.

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1 hour ago, Stan Fresh said:

Vader watches some Imperial officers getting killed during a holo call while searching for the Falcon in Empire Strikes Back.

Yep, and he also checks up on Veers during the assault on Hoth, although both of are still localized transmissions -- be it orbital or intra/interplanetary. 

I'm might've misread Archlyte's post but I inferred a signal being sent across light years without significant need for relay. "Send to #rebels in my address book, 4L-3XA."

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Holonet's Star Wars, but not old school Star Wars; more late-80s-WEG-y EU-y Prequel-y. As much as I don't like a No True Scotsman defense, in this thread I think I'm allowed to make one. :D

 

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On 2/5/2019 at 11:07 PM, Archlyte said:
  • Humans are by far the dominant species of the Galaxy. The Empire rules the galaxy and is an all-human force. Same thing with the first order. To do this there must be a population advantage for humanity that allows this to be the case. Humans are the main ingredient in most stories in the setting. 
  • Droids are basically peasants or slaves. When they act up society generally knocks them back down or destroys them. IG-88 isn't a member of a population of independent droids, he is an extremely rare anomaly. 
  • Aliens add exotic feel to things. Aliens are used to convey the exotic and cosmopolitan. 
 

The first one is an established truth in the universe, although probably not to the extent that you are imagining, but I am wondering, why the other 2?

The only time we see droid prejudice in the OT is one scene on a backwater planet and the second one about aliens providing the exotic is also only seen in that same scene. I understand it is a matter of opinion but it seems like a bit of a reach to make these points critical to an old-timey feel, especially since these scenes severed only to provide a shaky connection between events in real life and the series as if they were thinking, "I want to show prejudice in groups but I can't use real-world prejudice like race because that would not exist, lets have droid segregation then" and at the same time the whole scene where the exoticness of aliens is coming from also comes from a desire to replicate the tasteless Hollywood trope of using a bunch of brown people to make a bar seem exotic and dangerous.

Like I mean, if we are being serious, this a single scene and shouldn't be used to represent the entire feel of the trilogy for aliens and droids, but aside from that, even if it was more prominent is it really something worth replicating?

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15 hours ago, Norr-Saba said:

The first one is an established truth in the universe, although probably not to the extent that you are imagining, but I am wondering, why the other 2?

The only time we see droid prejudice in the OT is one scene on a backwater planet and the second one about aliens providing the exotic is also only seen in that same scene. I understand it is a matter of opinion but it seems like a bit of a reach to make these points critical to an old-timey feel, especially since these scenes severed only to provide a shaky connection between events in real life and the series as if they were thinking, "I want to show prejudice in groups but I can't use real-world prejudice like race because that would not exist, lets have droid segregation then" and at the same time the whole scene where the exoticness of aliens is coming from also comes from a desire to replicate the tasteless Hollywood trope of using a bunch of brown people to make a bar seem exotic and dangerous.

Like I mean, if we are being serious, this a single scene and shouldn't be used to represent the entire feel of the trilogy for aliens and droids, but aside from that, even if it was more prominent is it really something worth replicating?

The very fact that droids are bought and sold as property is proof enough that they’re basically “slaves” from a legal standpoint, with no rights. This is further shown in Solo.

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6 minutes ago, Tramp Graphics said:

The very fact that droids are bought and sold as property is proof enough that they’re basically “slaves” from a legal standpoint, with no rights. This is further shown in Solo.

To an extent I agree, but not in the case that all of them are, or that pockets of droids can’t have rights. Again we don’t see enough of this in the OT to make it a universal standard. 

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1 minute ago, Norr-Saba said:

To an extent I agree, but not in the case that all of them are, or that pockets of droids can’t have rights. Again we don’t see enough of this in the OT to make it a universal standard. 

Actually, yes, we do, not only on Tatooine, but even on the Devastator and on Yavin IV, and that’s just in ANH. For example of the latter two, when R2 and 3PO escape in the escape pod, the Imperial gunners don’t destroy it because there were no life forms on board. Add to that Obi-Wan suggests that the two were for sale when he, Luke, and the droids were confronted by Stormtroopers. Again, before the Battle of Yavin, one of the Rebel techs asked Luke, “This R2 unit is a little beat up, would you like a new one?” This indicates that they’re universally considered property. C3PO also constantly bemoans his station and specifically refers to Luke as his new Master, and also talks about his previous owners. Obi-Wan too makes a comment about not remembering owning a droid after Luke mentioned that R2 told him that he was Obi-Wan’s property. All of this makes it explicit that droids are property, not free beings.

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14 minutes ago, Tramp Graphics said:

Actually, yes, we do, not only on Tatooine, but even on the Devastator and on Yavin IV, and that’s just in ANH. For example of the latter two, when R2 and 3PO escape in the escape pod, the Imperial gunners don’t destroy it because there were no life forms on board. Add to that Obi-Wan suggests that the two were for sale when he, Luke, and the droids were confronted by Stormtroopers. Again, before the Battle of Yavin, one of the Rebel techs asked Luke, “This R2 unit is a little beat up, would you like a new one?” This indicates that they’re universally considered property. C3PO also constantly bemoans his station and specifically refers to Luke as his new Master, and also talks about his previous owners. Obi-Wan too makes a comment about not remembering owning a droid after Luke mentioned that R2 told him that he was Obi-Wan’s property. All of this makes it explicit that droids are property, not free beings.

Alright fair point, I can accept that droids would generally be seen as second class citizens in the OT. It definitely means droid players have built in plot development coming at them. 

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20 minutes ago, Norr-Saba said:

Alright fair point, I can accept that droids would generally be seen as second class citizens in the OT. It definitely means droid players have built in plot development coming at them. 

Not even “second class citizens”; property. They have no rights as life forms at all because they’re not alive. Whether sentient or not, they’re still manufactured machines built to fulfill specific functions for their owners. They’re not considered alive and are bought and sold at the whim or needs of their owners, and often get their memories erased regularly.

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On ‎2‎/‎27‎/‎2019 at 3:34 PM, wilsch said:

Speaking of, my one quibble with the finals scenes was Tantive IV peeling out of the cruiser like a getaway car. In the same screen time, a smaller ship could've jumped out in the direction of a nebula subtly established earlier; cut to it dropping to sublight in a place clearly on the other side, and then docking with a waiting CR90. No convoluted concept (corvette hiding in a cruiser, wha?) or friction with Leia's denials in ANH.

But anyway. Regarding the Scarif transmission, I figure range is the limiter. OT generally portrays scanners as radar and comms as radio; you need to be the Emperor to make a long-distance call, and even then it's low bandwidth. Since I only dabble in EU, my guess is it crept up to Internet equivalents, which do weaken the setting.

I agree about the friction with the stuff Leia says in the Tantive and the tone is also a bit different but I guess that could be attributed to however much time passes from the scene at the end of R1 and the beginning of ANH.

On the other point: I think in game terms it's gonna come down to GM fiat, which some players are very sensitive to accepting. Whether it's because the transmission could be intercepted (and killed?) or some other reason you are going to have to present your argument and either not consider rebukes, or consider them and maybe change the ruling. Changing a ruling acts to reinforce the behavior of challenging your ruling so be careful with that. 

so it's: Introduce explanation (which usually injects sci fi technological exposition or determinism) and either allow or do not allow debate -> If debate allowed then players can argue their explanation -> GM decides whether Ruling stands or is negated. If negated players reinforced for challenging ruling and behavior is likely to occur again. 

This is why I say skip all that and just give a pre-game explanation of how these things are handled and in the moment use a definitive fiat answer. 

 

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On ‎2‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 4:15 AM, wilsch said:

Yep, and he also checks up on Veers during the assault on Hoth, although both of are still localized transmissions -- be it orbital or intra/interplanetary. 

I'm might've misread Archlyte's post but I inferred a signal being sent across light years without significant need for relay. "Send to #rebels in my address book, 4L-3XA."

My Forum/out of game Explanation: I think of the Empire as having military-grade communication abilities. Hard-coded transmissions on dedicated hardware. Technology is the juice of the Empire and the way it has dominated the rest of the galaxy. It's not really the innovation of technology but is instead the use of technology that is more terrible or is impractical for normal life because of the resources it takes to have and maintain it. When the heroes use such communications it is dangerous because it can be intercepted, but I do tend to think of it as needle in a haystack from the bad guys' viewpoint. I think maybe the thing about communication that is paramount is that to me if the players are looking to bypass story by using communication too much then I start making it not work or ask them to try something else. My rule about OSSW is that if you want something you have to go there unless it is really boring and tedious to do so (in which case it happens in down time or off-screen). In Rogue One there is a scene where they are communicating with Yavin in the U-wing while under hyperdrive. I feel like a trip back at that point would have undermined the urgency of the situation and so I liked how he had an audio/crypto signal that had to come in on what looked like old military radio in the vehicle. 

There is also the plot element of whether or not it should happen for the story. I think this can be dangerous because it can set up precedents, but sometimes I think it's the right guideline to use. Obviously in my opinion if the plot calls for long-distance internet hacking then in my book the plot is faulty from the perspective of it being OSSW. 

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8 hours ago, Tramp Graphics said:

Not even “second class citizens”; property. They have no rights as life forms at all because they’re not alive. Whether sentient or not, they’re still manufactured machines built to fulfill specific functions for their owners. They’re not considered alive and are bought and sold at the whim or needs of their owners, and often get their memories erased regularly.

Yeah I think this is true. Droids are slaves in this setting but the moral quandary is way diminished if not just plain not there because the droids may be  only simulating sentience and this could be a well-known fact from thousands and thousands of years of droids being around. They also can last for hundreds of years, be brought back to life, have their consciousness erased, etc. They also cannot use or sense the Force which is a big clue. To me L3-37 is a badly glitched droid in the eyes of the average person in the setting and Lando admits he would have her memory wiped but for the navigational data she contains (I guess as a part of her experiential data). Your average droid is a tool like any other piece of equipment but just like we do in real life they get anthropomorphized because of shared experience. 

R2-D2 is an extraordinary droid who is so in tune to biologicals that he acts in an endearing manner and comes close to true sentience. He is also extremely competent in most cases so he is valuable. My guess is that normally having a personality makes droids less efficient and less useful so generally speaking it's like mutation: usually not beneficial. That the people he is around generally treat him in a familiar way shows that they are good people, better than most actually and that they can have compassion/loyalty/attachment for something that most people would not. If a good guy is kicking droids (showing no compassion to little creatures) it's a characterization beat designed to show who they are. 

Finally I would say that in a space fantasy setting the idea of droid slaves is much like the same thing you might see in game of thrones or Conan or stories about the Roman Empire or Feudal Japan. The mistake is to view the SW Galaxy as a contemporary place just because of the technology. It is not a contemporary society, it is a strangely anachronistic society. It has very few parallels with reality and therefore I think that this is why it's not a good setting to contain sci fi elements, as sci fi is simply re-telling real world stories in a technological backdrop and means. Looking at it with real world parallels will soon overshadow the tone and feel with too real moral issues and societal statements. Elements that kill escapism like salt on a snail.  

 

 

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The Holonet came up as something that @Rimsen and @wilsch were discussing and the fact that it is not in fact from the original movies. I have to admit that it is very very hard to play a game in the setting using only what is known in the first movies without doing really rapid screen wipes and having moments where everyone at the table is confused because there is something that has no definition. So in pursuing OSSW I am often forced to use some of the things that have become hard star wars culture because of the EU and all that. I find that much of that stuff is not up to snuff, but some of it I think does not really invalidate the original feel. The HoloNet seems like one of these things depending on how you use it. To me it is usually more important in AoR games than in EotE, but having it basically be a newspaper and a shallow database that leads to the locations of archives and people has proven to be fine. 

So yes, I will stipulate that some of the elements are not strictly only from the old movies, but are things that are I guess quality of life features of the setting to help us navigate it better, and in my opinion, not over-explain/define it in the process. I had a player last year at my table who was always trying to use wookieepedia as a cheat sheet for the game. He would look up some character from the database and then try to meet him in game so that he could exploit the information in the entry to his benefit. He would use the HoloNet as his excuse for why his character would know all this information like it was StarWars.com but in the setting itself. He's not with us any more (I mean I booted him, I didn't kill him) because he could not adapt enough, but this was just one use of the HoloNet I didn't think was appropriate.

In another game a player wanted to collect information and report for the HoloNet News. In order to make it so that it was not just like newspapers he reported to a local government bureau who then put his stories on the HoloNet without a byline. He called his character a "Feed" and did this as a side way of making some credits. When he sold them a feed that made the Empire uncomfortable they came after him, which made for a good adventure. We kept is vague, and tried not to hit the cliché's too hard; so that it wouldn't feel like Woodward and Bernstein, but still felt like Star Wars. He did have to record his feed and turn it in by hand or by droid to the bureau, but I didn't have the cubicle bay full of typing reporters with a sign on the back wall in big letters identifying the HoloNet. I feel like that was the worst kind of stuff George did in the prequels with things like the Greasy Spoon Diner on Coruscant. To me that didn't feel like Star Wars, it felt like George having a laugh at the expense of his setting and audience.

5af1103e12a8f79cdcf2fc3a2748f133--michigan-usa-diners.jpg 

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42 minutes ago, Archlyte said:

In Rogue One there is a scene where they are communicating with Yavin in the U-wing while under hyperdrive. I feel like a trip back at that point would have undermined the urgency of the situation and so I liked how he had an audio/crypto signal that had to come in on what looked like old military radio in the vehicle.

That addition threw me a bit. Not too much, but it's a plot device whose necessity could be debated a bit.

But, a good point, and the hyperspace dialog gets to something I've been thinking about: Star Wars could benefit from fan-recognized and clarified "tellings" or versions that allow discrepancies to coexist in a way that respects the essence of the setting but with more flexibility than Canon/Legends and far less controversy than Disney's gauntlet with opinionated fans. I mean, it's not from Lucas' lips to God's ear anymore. You'd have your Old School, your Jedi Dynasties from print, your Galactic Opera of the Prequels — that kind of thing.

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1 minute ago, wilsch said:

That addition threw me a bit. Not too much, but it's a plot device whose necessity could be debated a bit.

But, a good point, and the hyperspace dialog gets to something I've been thinking about: Star Wars could benefit from fan-recognized and clarified "tellings" or versions that allow discrepancies to coexist in a way that respects the essence of the setting but with more flexibility than Canon/Legends and far less controversy than Disney's gauntlet with opinionated fans. I mean, it's not from Lucas' lips to God's ear anymore. You'd have your Old School, your Jedi Dynasties from print, your Galactic Opera of the Prequels — that kind of thing.

Yes! And I admit that this is simply a version I like, not THE way to play. I think this is just a way for those who want to have that old school feel to share ideas. I also have that same feeling about the whole hyperspace commo thing and it's a bugaboo that is an ongoing thing. I try to apply the idea of things being possible but not automatic. So is it possible to send/receive a message in that way? Sure but it's not automatic or assumed. That is where it becomes troublesome I think is when the precedent law is invoked. It happened this way therefore it should always happen that way. Once something becomes routine it is boring. 

I think the only thing I would say that I truly disagree with is sci fi elements being used too much as to me they are antithetical to the setting. 

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On 3/1/2019 at 8:36 PM, Archlyte said:

Droids are slaves in this setting but the moral quandary is way diminished if not just plain not there because the droids may be  only simulating sentience and this could be a well-known fact from thousands and thousands of years of droids being around. They also can last for hundreds of years, be brought back to life, have their consciousness erased, etc. They also cannot use or sense the Force which is a big clue.

I could buy that many people believe that droids are incapable of sentience, but not that they are in fact incapable of it. the effect is the same but I feel the distinction is what's important. also not being able to use the force isn't a good indicator of sentience as it is a purely biologic process and not one based on ones cognitive abilities, since non-sentient animals can use the force.

On 3/1/2019 at 8:36 PM, Archlyte said:

It has very few parallels with reality and therefore I think that this is why it's not a good setting to contain sci fi elements, as sci fi is simply re-telling real world stories in a technological backdrop and means. Looking at it with real world parallels will soon overshadow the tone and feel with too real moral issues and societal statements. Elements that kill escapism like salt on a snail.

Its bad guys are a major parallel to real life though. 

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On 3/3/2019 at 2:50 AM, Norr-Saba said:

I could buy that many people believe that droids are incapable of sentience, but not that they are in fact incapable of it. the effect is the same but I feel the distinction is what's important. also not being able to use the force isn't a good indicator of sentience as it is a purely biologic process and not one based on ones cognitive abilities, since non-sentient animals can use the force.

Its bad guys are a major parallel to real life though. 

I think that is true and I think that keeping it nebulous would be the best way to go. I agree that I was pigeon-holing it too much and it could really go either way and keep the feel but the real danger in my opinion would be to start getting into exposition or analysis of it in the game because that is clearly sci fi and would be dangerous ground. 

I think that the fact that animals can use the force but droids cannot despite cognitive ability does kind of provide a view of how droids are not really a part of the metaphysical world of the Force. The movies are all humano-centric and the Force is the spiritual aspect of the setting so to me it kind of says droids are not really supposed to fill the protagonist role, but are instead supporting and weird character like some fantasy non-human species who delve the earth for gold single-mindedly, or otherwise embody a few attributes but aren't really full beings. Which I think is fine for an RPG for the most part because most games just don't go that deep into stuff and if you are doing the faster star wars pace then it probably wouldn't be concern. 

I agree that the Empire are basically space Nazis/Soviets and so I have never been one to love the Empire. I try to be very sparse with moral relativism style situations with them because to me it just starts to throw the feel off. 

But to me sci fi/contemporary fiction is a place to engage in real-world allegory and commentary, whereas I feel like this setting is at it's best when it is mainly doing weird fantasy. I like the idea of doing morality stories and there is some crossover, just not dragging my childhood love into real world stuff. 

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